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Getting out of Marseilles Airport

We land in Marseilles on a Saturday in September just before 10 a.m. We'll shuttle the short distance to Vitrolle train station and head to Avignon Centre. Regional trains leave every hour or so (and we may SNCF bus to Aix and to Avignon TGV from there depending on timing). So, the age-old question is, how fast do you think we can get through arrival and exit the airport? We'll buy tickets at the station, just want to give our lodging a heads up on time.
Thanks

Posted by
4684 posts

If you are going to Aix, there is a direct bus from Marseille Airport to Aix TGV station and then Aix bus station (just outside the town centre). Going to Avignon by train first and then going to Aix is going back on yourself.

Posted by
11292 posts

Unless you're arriving on a non-Schengen flight, you won't have to go through immigration, so you'll just go through the "green channel - nothing to declare" lane as soon as you've picked up your checked luggage. If you have no checked luggage, it will be even faster. The airport isn't huge, so it doesn't take much time to get to your shuttle.

In this situation, I usually tell the hotel "I'm arriving on a Flight BB 1111 from _____ at xx:xx, and so I hope to be at your hotel by yy:yy." This way, they understand exactly that I'm giving an approximation, and if I'm not there, they can check flight schedules to see if there were delays. Conversely, if I'm arriving by train, I state that, so that the hotel knows my estimated arrival is more likely to be correct.

Posted by
2251 posts

Thanks Phillip, I may have muddled the question...we're just going to Avignon, Aix was a possibility if we rode TGV, otherwise we depart from Vitrolle. What I'm after is a feel for how quickly I can get through the airport.

Posted by
2251 posts

Ah, thanks Harold I hadn't even thought about that. So our flight originates in US, but the last leg is from a connection in Frankfurt, so, green door and that's it? Sounds like a breeze.

Posted by
11292 posts

Connecting in Frankfurt is exactly how I flew into Marseille. Yes, you go through immigration in Frankfurt (first entry point into the Schengen zone). So your flight from Frankfurt to Marseille is like a "domestic" flight. You do go through customs in Marseille, but unless you have something to declare or you are "randomly selected for additional screening," all you do is go through the Green Channel on your way out to your shuttle.

Posted by
2251 posts

Thank you again, Harold. We have 1 hr 55 mins between flights in Frankfurt, sounds like we have enough time.
By the way, you'll be pleased to know that at your urging we have the Museum of Counterfeits in Paris on our schedule this time. We're trying to hit some lesser known sights this trip, looking forward to that one.
Dave

Posted by
11292 posts

I'm glad you read my posts, and I hope you like the Museum of Counterfeits. But I hope I haven't built it up into something it isn't. It's small, and a great contrast to the huge and heavily visited places like the Louvre. I like these kind of quirky places, myself, so that's why I recommend it. It's also right near the Porte Dauphin Metro station, one of the two that has the most intact original structure at its entrance. The other intact one is Abbesses; all the rest of the entrances have all been taken apart to a greater or lesser extent.

Posted by
2251 posts

Oh no, not at all, that's the appeal of the place, that it's small and quirky. I looked at seeing the Edith Piaf museum, and while it sounds interesting, it also sounds like a project to see it. We will see the Galerie des Gobelins, and the Grand Mosque too. The big sites are great, but we are looking forward to some offbeat stuff and just poking around the town.

Posted by
3699 posts

The regional train from Marseille Provence airport (it goes by several names) is definitely not at TGV speeds or sleekness. It can be pretty rattletrap, in fact. But it stops in Avignon Centre, opposite one of the main streets running through the city wall. From the Avignon TGV station a train shuttle has replaced the old shuttle bus carrying you into the city so you end up at the same place either way, except with an extra change of vehicle.

Posted by
2251 posts

Hey thanks, Southam. My logic there was that it's a tradeoff for either a slow train but no extra shuttle, or vice versa. I'll be on the rattletrap if timing works the way I think it will! Our Gite is easily walkable from Centre, thanks again.